The Lament: Praying the Psalms

Heather Dubrow opens her book, Genre, with a spectacular illustration. She writes: “Assume that the following paragraph opens a novel entitled, Murder at Marplethorpe”: “The clock on the mantelpiece said ten thirty, but someone had suggested recently that the clock was wrong. As the figure of the dead woman lay on the bed in the front room, a no less silent figure glided rapidly from the house. The only sounds to be heard were the ticking of that clock and the loud wailing of an infant.”  So, what type of book are we reading? I’m already looking for clues as to who killed the woman because we are obviously in the midst of murder mystery. But what happens if we read the same paragraph with a different title, something like, The Personal History of David Maplethorpe. Suddenly, everything changes. The clock is no longer a clue as to when a